As the integration of digital technology in businesses continue to grow, and essentially changing how businesses operate and deliver value to their customers, there have been increased calls for innovation in Nigeria in order to maximise the opportunities presented by this transformation.
According to John Obaro, a renowned Nigerian ICT expert and Managing Director of the foremost African technology company, SystemSpecs, digital transformation is the process of using technologies to create new or modify existing business processes, culture, and customers’ experiences to meet dynamic business and market needs.
Obaro, who spoke at the recent virtual retreat organised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Information Technology (IT) department, said more businesses have identified digital technology as a potential driver for growth and sustenance, especially after the pandemic.
He added that innovation in digital transformation as reflected in the successful emergence of SystemSpecs, a 28-year old technology company, has helped the firm evolve from a 5-man software firm to an African technology giant with ground-breaking solutions including Remita, HumanManager, and Paylink.
“Our innovation is business-led as it remains at the core of our operations. This implies that we continually evolve by adopting and harnessing tailor-made technology solutions to solve problems. We also ensure that we hire the best talent with top-notch competence and skills that can be inculcated into the business for growth and sustenance,” Obaro added.
He charged Chief Information Technology Officer (CIO) to up their games as they are expected to keep the organisation's infrastructure running and support business processes in line with present-day technology.
“To facilitate a successful digital transformation, the CIO must have clear objections, as well as take the front seat in driving organisational change, and ensure that relevant stakeholders are involved to achieve such set goals,” he added.
On issues mitigating digital transformation, he said employee pushback, lack of expertise, rigid organisational structure, and lack of a digitisation strategy can be tackled by regular sensitisation of staff, having an organisational structure that supports innovation, implementing changes in phases, and operating with a defined budget.
According to Obaro, Nigeria’s large youth population constitute a strength that must be maximised constitute coupled with the adoption of emerging technologies – AI, robotics, machine learning – to achieve digital transformation.